Archive for June, 2008

Holland is cool

June 24, 2008

Last weekend I went to Holland for the Dutch SS race.  It was fun and the course was fast and flat.  Not really a shock to me but I have forgotten how hard racing on a flat course without any place to rest is.  It was, for lack of a better way to describe it, cross racing on my SS for 75 minutes.  Well that is mostly true, I would never race with a camera or drink beer while I rode at a cross race. 

Here are a couple of pics and I will write more later.  It was a good weekend and I think Marty and I had a very good time.  The climbThis little guy was great

The dog really wants to go for a walk, she is dancing on three legs.  More later and have a great day.  It was a really good weekend.  Ed

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Not much going on at all

June 15, 2008

So since my last effort at being entertaining failed, I put myself to sleep writing about how cool I am, this will be very short.

I did a race, in the rain, and hated every sticking minute of it.  I will, maybe, write a bit more about the race later.  The kind folks putting on the race took pity on me a gave me the 1st place SS prize.  What, I didn’t know there was a classification or I would have ridden much harder.  3:00 hours in the rain and mud and I got some good wine and excellent cheese.  So the race was great and I loved every minute of riding in the tough conditions that proved my bike handling skills were second to none in the SS class.  I should mention I was the only SSer to finish.  

Rain has been the constant here, sunny Italy my eye.  I shouldn’t complain too much as we haven’t had any snowflakes as they have had in Germany, so it could be worse.  The rain has kind of literally and figuratively dampened my spirits for riding.  I think I have hit the boredom wall with my riding in the greater Vicenza area.  Looking for new riding partners is proving hard, but today I am going to do a team ride and see how that goes.  Maybe more on that later too.  I need to find my will to ride soon or the summer will be over and I will still be pear shaped.  I miss the days of having too many people to ride with. Yes, I hated Seattle and the rain there too, but I always had someone to ride with, rain or shine.  Oh well, in August I will be back there to enjoy some great Cascade Mountain singletrack.  Can’t wait.  Later Ed

I have some pics to add and will in the next couple of days. 

ESSC part 2

June 3, 2008

So far be it from me to complain about rain and mud, I have lived and ridden is Washington were rain and mud were the norm.  I have since then avoided, like the plague, ridding in any wet conditions off road, meaning I have the confidence of a mouse on wet trails.  As we headed around the corner to begin the Le Mans start the rain seemed to have stopped totally which was good.  

Stefano gave us the pre-race brief….”Remember”, he said, “one minute walking is better than going to the hospital.” That of course buoyed my spirits and made sure to keep me riding easy.  So off he walked having given me that go get ’em feeling, or maybe the let’s have a beer and not ride a bike at all.  

The race started and I jogged, very slowly, to my bike and began walking up the first small climb because everyone else was.  I still am a bit unsure as to why we were walking, but it happens, and so does rain, which came on the first lap.  Now it wasn’t hard pouring rain but the irritating and gets everything slippery rain.  Well I rode my little heart out for the first bit passing a few folks and trying to remember names as well as not cause any wrecks or ruffle any feathers, these are SSers after all.  Bad karma to topple a fellow racer in the first two miles.  All went well even up the crazy hike a bike section.  To describe it properly may be impossible, I will try though.  Imagine a really steep rock face with steps (kind of) that lead to the top. Now imagine wet rock face with wet steps and carrying a bike at the same time.  Fun, and really it was, and do to the rain it was more fun than normal.  Slippery fun.  I far as I know nobody fell, which was good. 

After the scaling the rock face we had to ride up a long gravel road, fun and I mean that, and I passed a couple more folks.  Then I saw Mauro, a great guy and the fellow giving us drinks in the rain.  But after seeing Mauro I knew what was coming up, a treacherous descent to the depths of muddy, slippery doom. Off I went, scared to death, and slipping and sliding all over the place but not falling which made me pretty happy.  Until I fell.  It was a nice soft landing due to the amount of mud.  I was now, about 2/3rds through the first lap that the skys truly opened up.  Rain and big drops too.  

After the descent was another climb, more fun, and I caught all the hearty souls who flew by me down the hill.  At least I can climb in the rain.  But all this climbing leads to only one thing, another awful descent. This one was truly scary.  It starts with a little set of stair, which last year I bailed on every time, but rode every time this year.  After that it turns really nasty.  TIght and twisty slippery with mud and just kind of unridable.  With Stefanos words ring in my ears I bailed.  A lot farther down the slope than the year before, but still way to early.  Next year…maybe.  So I jogged down the rest of the slippery tight trail to the next climb.  Then walked the next descent and then two more laps.  I finished not so well, but unharmed and with an intact bike.  I also raced with a bunch of great guys and met many people that I hope to keep in contact with in the future, like at the Dutch SS race.  Good beer, flat land and I do hope rain.  

Now I seemed to have ended the story a bit early, but writing about me walking down hills scared doesn’t seem to interesting.  After the race the weather cleared and we had a great dinner.  Meat and meat and just a bit of beer.  Oh yeah and Isaac took third, the first real SSer.  By that I mean the only guy who always rides a SS.  So enough, tired again….I need more coffee.  

On a bit of a different not I saw Veet for men at a local Italian store.  I took a pic as I had too and will post it when I get it downloaded.  More later when good stuff happens.  Ed

 

ESSC, I went I got wet and I wish I did better

June 2, 2008

Well mostly SS racing is just a reason to ride bikes and have a bit of fun at the expense of people on geared bikes when I beat them.  Well what happens if everyone is SS?  Well I get my hat handed to me (it is a CCP finisher cap) but still handed to me….it didn’t feel good.

Really the weekend as a whole was, for me at least, a very good time.  Camping, bike riding and new trails are all thing I really enjoy.  Add in riding with one of the greatest clubs I have been involve with Los Lobos (singlespeed-italy.com) makes for a very good and enjoyable weekend.  I should also add Mike of 1speed fame, brought with him from Germany Isaac, the fasted kid on two wheels really, and Flo a friend who rides with no hands better than I do with hands.  So friends, food, a bit of wine and beer doesn’t get much better.

Friday night I met up with Mike and the boys and we had a very good dinner ranging from pizza to roasted goat which is very tasty.  Great food and good wine.  Sleeping under the stars after food was a nice change and the weather which was forecast for rain and thunderstorms didn’t transpire.  Good for us. 

Saturday began with a pretty good breakfast and a ride down to start area.  Well this easy roll down a hill turned into the most challenging part of the weekend.  Isaac and Flo had a flat, I think it was Flo but Isaac stopped to help.  Neither Mike, myself or our fellow riders Aurilla and Mick knew that anything was wrong.  With the descending abilities of Isaac and Flo we were sure they would catch up quickly, but after ten minutes no Isaac or Flo.  I turned up the hill and ran into some Brits that said Flo had a flat but they were on their way.  Soon, but I feared we might all miss the planned group ride altogether.  It was decided that Mick and Mike should go ahead and I and Aurilla would wait for Flo and Isaac.  No worries.  Well I got us lost on the way there and when we arrived 30 minutes late no Mike no Mick.  What happened?  Turns out they got lost too and even though we tried we could not find them.  Finally at 11:00 we found out that Mike and Mick were going back up to the campground and we could ride without them.  Kind of sucked, but it is how it worked out.  

The ride on Saturday was good, lots of climbing and a lunch followed by descending.  I wish I could relay more info about the ride but my eyes were closed the entire way down the trail and up the climbs I almost blacked out on the climbs.  It was a blur.  I have got to figure out how to post pics, but will add links to pics after this post.  

So Sunday came and then all these skinny, shaved legged racers came out of the wood work.  I was sure to be getting stomped.  Then the rain came and went making the ground muddy and slick, not really badly but enough to make me a bit uncomfortable.  

So the organizer, Stefano, had us place our bikes at the start line and then walked us away to the Le Mans start, good I love running, no really I do, like I like to eat my veggies.  But what can you do?  Run slow, that is what I did.  Near the last one off the line and on to the course.  I should have know better and run faster, but figured the start was not so important.  I was wrong.  More tomorrow as I am tired and want to do a bit of justice to my hat getting handed to me.